|Photo Credit: @simplybiancaalexa|
by Mary Wolff
When it comes to your curls, the more you know, the better. Knowing the hair type and porosity of your hair can lead to a better understanding of what products to use, what styles to try, and overall care techniques for your best head of curls. When determining your hair porosity, there are a few basic methods to figure out this important factor.
This is the most common way of determining your hair porosity. Simply take a glass of room temperature water and pull a few strands of your cleanly washed and dried hair to put in the glass. Make sure hair is clean and dry or it will affect the results of the test. If the hair sinks immediately, it has high porosity because of how quickly it absorbed the water. If after two minutes your hair is still making its way to the bottom of the glass, your hair is medium porosity. If after 4 minutes, hair is still at the top instead of sinking, it is low porosity meaning it doesn’t absorb as much water.
2. The Spray Bottle Test
For this one, put most of your hair back and leave out a test sample area. Use a spray bottle to mist your hair. This should be done on clean, dry hair again. If the water is quickly absorbed, you have high porosity hair. If it takes several minutes for it to fully absorb into the strand, it is medium porosity. Hair that doesn’t absorb the water at all or hardly at all is low porosity. While this method allows you to test your strands with water without removing any from your head, it has been called slightly less effective than the float test because of variables such as room temperature affecting the water molecules. It is still a good baseline way to find your porosity though.
For this one, you will use texture instead of water to determine porosity. Take a strand of hair and pull it away from your head. Slide your fingers up the hair shaft toward the roots. If it is bumpy, hair is most likely high porosity while smooth hair is lower porosity. While the ability to absorb water and the rate at which hair does it are the main determining factors of porosity, the texture of the shaft can also be an indicator.
Knowing as much about your hair as possible will let you create a more personalized care routine. Finding the porosity is the first step in a long hair care journey! Once you know your hair porosity, check out these articles on high porosity and low porosity to learn more about how to properly moisturize.